Saturday, January 08, 2011

Civilisation doesn't always move forward.

A sobering website that's worth looking at.


Will S. said...

Say nice things about Detroit! Or the dog gets it! ;)

Will love Detroit for food.

Athol Kay said...

Unless the point is civilization did move forward and leave this behind.

Even so, sad photos.

Anonymous Protestant said...

I know some people who grew up in Detroit. A few years ago they used Google Earth to try to find the houses they grew up in. What the found was a stand of trees.

Detroit has undergone a profound shift in culture for a whole lot of reasons, and the results are plain to see.

Hestia said...

Anonymous Protestant- Funny you should bring up that Google Earth story as I was going to comment about just that. I grew up a few streets away from Detroit city limits and couldn't recognize my old neighborhood when I used Google Earth to take a look at the old place.

Seeing what happened to my old neighborhood was difficult and made me all the more thankful for my parents wise decision to get our family out of there before the tipping point was reached. My parents were extremely fortunate to have their house sell less than 24 hours after being listed and property values began to tank just a few months after we left for warmer southern places.

The Deuce said...

It's sad. When you look at pictures like this you are really hit by the horrible truth about nature of leftism. It's like a flesh-eating bacteria, or maybe The Nothing from Neverending Story: just senselessly and chaotically consuming everything it touches, leaving nothing but death and misery in its wake.

Tom said...

you are really hit by the horrible truth about nature of leftism

Say what? If anything I would read this as a tribute to the success of capitalism. New competitor comes in and cleans the clock of the old companies. Those communities that depended on the old companies die.

The attraction of leftism is that people want to somehow *preserve* these communities from the capitalist imperative of their death, the same way that successful capitalism throws hundreds of thousands of people out of work each year and leftists want to "preserve their jobs" instead of letting the market do its work.

Capitalism means change, oft times painful on a personal level, in return for over-all growth. The leftist impulse is to prevent that personal loss, no matter what the long-term cost.

The Deuce said...

This is Detroit, Tom. Capitalism is nothing more than a dirty word there.

grerp said...

I lived in inner-city Detroit from 1996-98 while I got my masters in librarianship, and the city is tragic beyond belief. I have so many strong feelings about what happened. Those photos look like Chernobyl; I find it interesting that there was so much salvageable, but no one bothered. That right there says it all.

I urban spelunked St. Albertus school (the piano picture) in 1997, right in the heart of what had been thriving Polish Detroit. By then the neighborhood had been dozed to put up community housing that was already hard used. All that remained of a true community were some churches and a few related buildings - the associated schools and parish buildings. It was surreal and terribly, terribly sad. As you can see many of the houses and buildings in Detroit were of far superior construction with actual craftsmanship - unlike what we throw up today and call good.

Tom said...

Capitalism is nothing more than a dirty word there.

Small wonder. It's much easier to cheer when you're winning. Honestly, there's not a lot of people who can say "I've been out-competed, I really should to lose everything for the greater long-term good."

There's a reason leftism is attractive to a lot of people.

The Deuce said...

Detroit isn't leftist because they were "out-competed". They began their socialist policies when they were still successful, and the loss of that success was the direct observable result.

They simply destroyed themselves, the same way California, New York, New Jersey, etc have, only even more drastically. 50 years ago, they were riding high and had everything, and were the center of the manufacturing economy.

Then they threw it all away through mad socialist planning which fostered dependence, and together with the auto unions, strangled and burdened their economy until they were awash in debt and all their businesses had either fled for greener pastures or been rendered non-competitive.

It's hard to even imagine a more clear-cut case of a successful and booming society being directly and observably destroyed from within by a switch to leftist policies.

Black Death said...

Here's a nice site for those who like to follow Detroit's spectacular decline:

I live in Michigan, although nowhere near Detroit, which I try to avoid whenever possible. Vast parts of the city are beyond rundown and are returning to their bucolic roots. For urban archeologists, the Packard plant, the Michigan Central railroad station and the Book-Cadillac hotel are worthwhile sites. They should post a sign at the Detroit city limits - "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here."

The Social Pathologist said...

I've been away from the blog for a few days so my apologies for the later reply's.

@Will S.



A civilisation that sees no problem in letting some of these beautiful buildings rot is a civilisation that is going backwards. Think of the Roman ruins, left to neglect for years throughout the dark ages, their beauty only appreciate once a degree of civilisation was once achieved.


I'm aware to the reality of economic cycles and the subsequent changes in prosperity that they bring. Capitalism is a dynamic thing. I suggest that you read some Jane Jacobs, since what is happening in detroit is not poverty but neglect. Detroit is run by people who can't see the value in these beautiful building. The town in run by cultural savages, and the men who built these buildings were of a different quality than the men who are running Detroit now. Detroit is America's future(and the West's) if things do not change.

@AP and The Deuce.

I think you're both right, these images capture of cancer of Leftism quite nicely. The economic fallacies of Leftism are not nearly as dangerous as its social fallacies. Detroit is a town that has not only lost it's dignity, but its sense of what is dignified.

The Deuce said...

Indeed, particularly since the economic policies of Leftism follow from its false social worldview.

This is very reminiscent of the hideous buildings that the Soviet Union erected in all its slave states - square and featureless, and evincing a narrowly materialistic worldview cut off from appreciation of beauty or any deeper meaning. Just glancing at them on a drive-by was depressing and soul-killing. They managed to look old and run-down regardless of how new they were.

The tragedy of Leftism is that it tells people to focus only on the material for their meaning in life, while simultaneously impoverishing them materially.

Blue Blazer said...

You,nor your commenters,never use the term "white" in this Post.That pretty much says it all.

The Social Pathologist said...

@ Blue Blazer

What do you mean?

Do I thinks Blacks have contributed to Detroit's malaise. No doubt they have. Mainstream Black culture is a terribly destructive thing. The mainstream black community have adopted the ideas of the left quite wholeheartedly, but there are others like Thomas Sowell who would decry the vandalism just as well.

Nietzsche said...

This sort of phenomenon happens all the time. Just look at the Dark Ages right after the fall of the Roman Empire. Europe regressed a couple hundred years during those times.

Goes to show that education is paramount to promoting civilized behavior among barbarians.

Blue Balzer said...

"What do you mean?"..I repeat"That pretty much says it all."